Did you know that “Multitasking” is synonymous with “Boot Camp”?

Did you know that “Multitasking” is synonymous with “Boot Camp”?

“Multitasking is a myth,” my father told me before I packed my bags and decided to come to Syracuse all the way from India. I did not understand him then, and I let it go. I came to Newhouse not only because it is one of the best communication schools in the country, but also because it offered innumerable opportunities for overall growth and development of a student. From writing workshops, toast masters club, dance classes, sports clubs, choir groups, internship opportunities to cultural groups, spirituality classes, travel adventures and movie nights; I found everything here.


Suddenly I had to manage my own home, cook, purchase kitchenware, clean rooms, take the trash out (something we never have to do in India) and I thought I had come here to study and pursue my ambition. What I did not know was everything else would be as overwhelming as my graduate program and school life. I was prepared for an intensive boot camp but not for everything around settling in grad school. At one point I felt managing home, food and schedules was the real boot camp, while assignments in school was engaging and fun.

Boot camp was undoubtedly the best thing that happened to me. I grew as an individual and as a professional. It was not only about skills but also about personality development. If I have to describe an average day in the life of a Newhouse student during boot camp, this is how it would be:

I wake up with a jerk to the alarm I have set on my phone at 7 a.m. each day, and press the snooze button hard every time it rings, hoping for a few more minutes in bed. I have chosen the most annoying ringtone to wake me up because I have to catch the bus at 8.12 a.m. I get to class by 9 a.m. and it is our writing class. This time we talk about press releases and news stories and I have to complete one news story in 15 minutes. I am done with that and then I have to write an in-class press release and before I finish that, I am told the media kit assignment is due next week. I don’t even realize its noon and I must eat something to keep up with the pace in class. Its 1 p.m. and now I have to rush to the graphic lab because I have a poster due this week, and it is my first time with graphics. I am sketching out designs, changing fonts, learning about picas and typography and trying to ensure I have all the information I need. By 5 p.m. I am exhausted but I have to get home and finish assignments that are due for the next day and start working on assignments due this week. It is chaotic but by the end of 1.5 months it becomes a part of routine. I think it grew on me slowly and steadily.

The movie nights and the chilling out sessions at Faegan’s on Fridays were always refreshing. I had managed to explore food at Marshall Street in between lectures and I was now an expert at handling school and home. It did not feel difficult anymore, maybe it felt empowering. It felt free yet protected. I cannot explain how accomplished I felt on the last day of boot camp.

That night I remembered what my father told me and now I agreed with him. Multitasking is a myth and every individual has the capability to handle multiple things and still excel, it is just a matter of effort, hard-work and attitude.

Boot camp lived by its name.

. Kala Krishnan
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